Ask the Consul
Avoid Fraud: Apply the Right Way
Applying for a visa the right way is simple. Here are a few key points for all applicants:
-Tell the truth. There is no formula for qualifying for a visa other than having strong ties to your country of residence. But there is a formula for being declared permanently ineligible to travel to the U.S. and that is by trying to conceal arrests or other information you believe to be derogatory or submitting false documentation to support your claims. False, misleading, or incomplete information can permanently damage your chances of getting a visa; misrepresentation is much easier to catch in the Internet age.
- Do not use a visa fixer. Visa fixers are people who claim to know shortcuts to get you a visa or who claim to have access to people or resources at the Embassy. Visa fixers are great at taking your hard-earned money but they are not great at getting you a visa. Visa fixers coach applicants to tell lies, and they provide fake documents, but when the lies are discovered you are the one to suffer not the visa fixer.
Consular officers have lots of experience evaluating documentation and they usually know fakes when they see them. They also know when people use visa fixers. Visa fixers who are arrested even share information about how they work with applicants. Again, working with visa fixers can lead to a permanent ineligibility for a visa.
Visa officers make decisions based on US immigration law, not on who they know, so a contact can never help you with anything you cannot do yourself.
- Visa applicants should take comfort in the fact that, if you are qualified, you will be issued a visa. If you are not qualified today, don’t lie and ruin your chances to qualify for a visa in the future. Many applicants win the visa lottery, meet a U.S. citizen spouse, or have a family member petition for them only to find out that they cannot get a visa because of previous misrepresentations. Also, if you get caught lying once, you will not be trusted in the future.
Visit our website at http://yaounde.usembassy.gov/non-immigrant_visas.html to learn how to apply for your visa. You can also find more information there about how to travel to the US. Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yaounde.usembassy and by following @ USEmbYaounde on Twitter. We may also have more answers your visa questions there.